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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-02-2016, 02:51 PM  
K-3 ii successor? Just curious...
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 142
Views: 16,986
I hope a new APS-C flagship comes out soon! I've been shooting some sports recently, and I've actually taken to borrowing Nikon stuff for that (*shiver*). It hurts me to say, but I just can't justify bringing a Pentax along when I could bring gear that autofocuses as fast as I can think. I don't know whether it's the AF motor that's the problem, or the algorithm, or maybe the lenses themselves, but something has to change.

If they can fix the AF Achilles heel, then I think that Pentax DSLRs will be the best all-purpose cameras on the market--great image quality, beautiful viewfinders, thoughtful button layout, by far the best ergonomics, a menu system that isn't idiotic, weatherproof, compact...
Forum: Winners' Showcase 07-01-2015, 03:15 PM  
June, 2015 Runner-up: Minimal zebra
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 14
Views: 1,763
Abstract but still recognizable on closer inspection, I like it!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 07-01-2015, 03:13 PM  
Center of its world
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 14
Views: 920
I like this treatment of the theme--a great use of lines leading to the subject.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-08-2014, 05:52 PM  
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 20
Views: 1,754
The shadow in the dirt is great--nominated.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-08-2014, 05:45 PM  
A feral feline
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 4
Views: 765
Every once in a while, this cat shows up outside one of my basement windows. He just sits there and stares in, seemingly waiting for something to happen.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-27-2014, 07:48 PM  
Hands-on with the Pentax K-S1, $749 body only-- from
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 241
Views: 21,609
I actually really like my K-01! It's kind of a weirdly shaped camera but it takes great pictures and is nice and quiet. The boxy shape and colorfulness (I have a yellow one) seem to put people at ease--I guess it's less intimidating to be on the other end. My only gripe is that I do miss having a viewfinder... so maybe the K-S1 is the replacement for the K-01!
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 08-27-2014, 07:31 PM  
Hands-on with the Pentax K-S1, $749 body only-- from
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 241
Views: 21,609
It actually looks alright from the front when the lights are off (and you *can* deactivate them, thank god). I'm conflicted about the back, I'd have to hold it for myself.

I do kinda wonder who they're trying to sell this camera to though... The lack of AA says camera geek, the lack of WR says casual user, the single dial says person stepping up from point and shoot or smartphone, the size says somebody who kinda wants a mirrorless but doesn't want a 4/3rds sensor... That, plus it costs about the same as the K-50, which is already a solid camera all around. I guess I have the same questions about the SL1. If you wanted a good, small camera and we're willing to pay over $700 anyhow, Fuji and Olympus make some pretty good tech.

Hopefully it works out for Ricoh though! If the camera ends up bringing new people into the K mount system, that's good for the ecosystem. Then maybe they'll come out with the fast telephoto primes and full-frame that they know we want!
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 08-12-2014, 07:12 PM  
Clip system
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 14
Views: 1,525
I use Peak Designs' Capture Clip. I really like it for quick access while hiking; it's comfortable, secure, and very easy to access. For climbing, though, maybe the Spider Holster is better since the camera stays attached to you at all times.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 03-02-2014, 02:28 AM  
Contest Pentax K+ Multi- Mount (PK+MM) x 3 Giveaway by Adaptist
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 73
Views: 15,176
Iím currently in the process of making a cheap tilt/shift adapter for medium format lenses. I wrote about the first prototype in the DIY section last year (here), and Iím working on making a nicer, smoother version this year.

Ideally, Iíd like to make a version of the tilt-shift adapter for a variety of camera bodies, but it would be pretty expensive to go out and buy camera bodies of all the different stripes, especially since all I want to do is check lens-mount compatibility! The K+MM would allow me to try out the adapter on lots of different lens mounts, for way less money.

I have a K-r thatís on its last legs at the moment, but I think it would be perfect as a test platform.

Some sample pictures!

Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 11-11-2013, 10:27 PM  
Monterey Bay
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 0
Views: 330
A man sits by the remains of a cannery along the shore of Monterey Bay.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-21-2013, 06:16 PM  
Egret on the Water
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 0
Views: 347
Shot in Monterey Bay from a sea kayak.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 07-07-2013, 10:28 AM  
Ricoh GR Digital IV Giveaway: Ending 7/8/2013!
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 630
Views: 96,556
Forum: Post Your Photos! 07-06-2013, 01:10 PM  
People Holi
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 2
Views: 639

The Indian festival of Holi.
(Yes, the camera and lens made it through with no problems. I cut a hole in a bag for the camera, and put a cheap UV filter on the lens.)

Body: Used Pentax K-R 12.4 Megapixels Digital Slr Camera Body Black
Lens: Pentax SMCP-DA 18mm-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Weather Resistant AF Lens #21880 21880
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-03-2013, 12:32 AM  
Lamborghini Miura
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 0
Views: 375
A young boy peers into the interior of a parked Miura.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 05-31-2013, 11:49 PM  
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 0
Views: 545
Taken at Ukai Toriyama, outside Tokyo.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-22-2013, 03:16 PM  
Protecting a Camera During a Colour Run
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 32
Views: 6,871
Sorry, got careless with my pronouns...
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-21-2013, 08:08 PM  
New DIY Tilt Shift Adapter
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 7
Views: 8,968
Wow, how did I not even notice that we had a DIY section? Thanks, I'll ask to get it moved.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 05-21-2013, 07:54 PM  
Protecting a Camera During a Colour Run
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 32
Views: 6,871
This is sort of too late, given that the OP already took his pictures... but there are some things you can do.

Color runs are sort of derivative of the Indian festival of Holi, which is an incredible photographic opportunity--so much color, energy, and happiness! Holi is fun because it breaks down barriers and everyone gets to play a giant sort of mutual free-for-all tag. (Plus, I doubt it's any more dangerous than eating dyed Easter eggs or working in a kitchen when there's a bunch of flour in the air. If the organizer is good, it should just be food coloring in cornstarch.)

Especially if you have weather-sealed gear, I don't quite see why the cornstarch should necessarily be such a huge issue if you take some precautions. I shot my local Holi earlier this year with my K-r (which is notably not weather-sealed) and my camera is no worse for it, despite the fact that I had people throwing colored powder at me for about six hours. I put my camera in a clear plastic bag (of the kind that sheets get packaged in, with some structural integrity and a zipper on one end) and cut out a hole in the bottom for my lens, in order to protect it from water and the majority of the dust. Some dust inevitably got in through the back of the bag with my hands, but less than I feared would. One thing I would say is critical, though, is a cheap UV filter--the filter I used still has a slight pinkish tinge. Because the bag was clear, I could still see through the viewfinder and my camera stayed protected

I also saw people who used underwater housings and rain bags--and one guy with a 5DmkII and a weather-sealed lens with no protection. He said that he'd been shooting Holi for five years and hadn't had a problem, but I'm not sure I could be quite that fearless myself.

I think you should pretty much be ok if you have a first layer of protection, a UV filter, and a lens you don't care too much about. You'll probably need to do some cosmetic cleanup after the event, but a few minutes with a blower and some Q-tips was enough for me. Or sit in a tree with a long lens. That works, too. I can see not wanting to risk your gear at all if your livelihood depends on it, but if you're taking pictures for fun...

Disclaimer: I'm no expert on the weather-sealing limit of cameras, so I could be totally in the wrong here. But Heie poured sand all over his cameras to no ill effect! I'd hate to see anybody pass up a fun photographic opportunity if it can be done safely. Cameras are tools to be used! sgirvin's Album: Holi -
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-21-2013, 03:18 PM  
New DIY Tilt Shift Adapter
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 7
Views: 8,968
It is painted black inside, but it's just spray paint, nothing special. Probably a bigger problem is that I haven't gotten around to sealing the front element with a rubber gasket yet, so there's some light leakage that becomes visible when outside.
Forum: Do-It-Yourself 05-21-2013, 01:19 AM  
New DIY Tilt Shift Adapter
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 7
Views: 8,968
Hey PentaxForums!

Iíve been working on this project for a while now, and I think it would be of interest to the community! Iíve built a low-cost (~$150, including the lens) tilt-shift adapter that takes medium format lenses! I know this is something that several people have tried before, but I think this design has some advantages over the other ones on the internet and over commercial tilt adapters!

This is what it looks like:

Quick refresher on tilt-shift: tilt-shift refers to the kinds of movements that a lens can make relative to the sensor in a camera. By tilting the lens relative to the sensor, you change the interaction of the sensor plane and the lensesí image plane. This gets you a sort of Ďsliceí of focus through a scene. Aside from being a kind of fun effect, itís useful for being more specific about what is in focus in your images.

Current options:
There are a couple of options for tilt-shift currently on the market. First, you have actual tilt-shift lenses. Theyíre too expensive for a college student like me, especially since itís hard to know pre-purchase if you will even like the effect. Even the Arax, the cheapest T/S lens for Pentax, is $670, and other brands are much more expensive (Schneiders are about $4000!). Itís hard to justify the cost of a tilt-shift lens if youíre not going to do use it all the time or do anything professional with it.

Lensbaby sells their own tilt lenses for ~$80, but for that you get plastic optics, a fixed aperture, and no ability to maintain the settings you picked. Itís difficult/impossible to maintain consistency in your pictures, which rules out a lot of possibilities, like longer exposures on a tripod or time lapse. For $150, you can get glass optics and a variable aperture, but you still canít set tilt or shift settings and you need both hands to focus. Considering the capability that you get, I think the Lensbabies are too expensive.

Alternatively, you can also buy tilt adapters and shift adapters online. For ~$115, you can get a tilt adapter for Pentacon Six lenses on eBay, or a shift adapter for ~$150. You can pick up a cheap Pentacon Six lens for ~$130 or so. I think you can attach them together with a small extension tube to get both movements (though youíll lose infinity focus). If you only want one movement or the other, this is a great setup, but if you want both itís kind of pricey and you lose infinity focus. Still, some people on the forum do this, and have gotten really nice results!

Those are the only commercial options for DSLRs that I know of. There are several DIY options scattered throughout the internet.

The best ones I found are listed at Tilt-shift: A DIY Guide (which also has a really cogent description of the tilt-shift phenomenon, if youíre interested in the physics). They can get you Lensbaby capabilities with much nicer glass and minimal cost (almost free, if you have a lens or two youíre willing to deconstruct). In general, these DIY hacks consist of a piece of flexible material, like a toilet plunger or bicycle inner tube, a body cap, and a lens. I tried this ďbendyĒ method and got some interesting results, but I found it nearly impossible to get good resultsóit requires your focusing hand to take care of tilt, shift, the distance of the lens to the cameraÖ

I thought about the problem for a while, and this is what I came up with:

Itís composed of (from left to right): the bayonet from a practically-free ďfor-parts-onlyĒ lens, a custom 3D-printed part, laser cut plastic, some hardware bits from McMaster-Carr ( and my local hardware store, and a Bronica medium format lens I picked up from If people are interested, I can post the Solidworks file for the 3D-printed part on GrabCAD.

It allows somewhere between 8 and 9 degrees of tilt, and 3/8Ē shift. Essentially, a plate can slide around the front of the adapter, and the tilt axis is attached to the sliding plate. Hereís what it looks like on my K-01 (It also fits on my K-r, but itís more comfortable to use on the K-01 because of the flatter grip. Notably the adapter doesnít fit the K-20D because of the protruding flash; I havenít tested it with the K-5 or K-30).

Everything can be locked down and fixed, so you can shoot multiple pictures with the same tilt and shift setup. It doesnít require the disassembly of any lenses, you have full access to the aperture control via the preset mechanism on the lens. Thereís no epoxy on the lens itself, though the bayonet mount of the medium format lens is trapped between two epoxied rings of acrylic. I couldnít find any Bronica adapters, so I had to improvise, but I think this system will generalize to any bayonet lens system.

Here are some results:

I had a booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire last weekend, and got to share the project with a few hundred people there, including some fellow Pentaxians. (As an aside, it was lots of fun, if thereís ever a Maker Faire near where you live, I highly suggest checking it out!). I figured now is as good a time as any to share with you all (this is my first forum post, but Iíve been lurking for a while nowÖ hi!).

There are some things that I have to work through to get it ready for this, but my goal is to make the adapter (or an adapter kit) available to people via Kickstarter or something like that within the next year. What I think is nice about this adapter is that it allows you the sort of free-from experimentation that you can get from a Lensbaby or something like that, but when you need to, you can lock the lens down and take more controlled shots with most of the capability of a commercial lens! Looking through the forums, it seems like there is definitely a group of people looking for something like this to experiment with. I hope you guys like it!

Ideas going forwards:
--Obligatory versions for Canon, Nikon, and Micro 4/3rds crowd
--A version of the adapter that allows people to easily adapt their existing 35mm lenses
--Rework the CAD so that itís more comfortable to use with a longer grip
--More freedom in rotation (maybe with a ring of ball-bearings instead of slots?)
--Easier way to swap out lenses
--Resin casting instead of 3D printing

Thoughts/comments/suggestions? Iím open to everything!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 03-31-2013, 09:53 AM  
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 0
Views: 632
"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it."
--J.M. Barrie, in Peter Pan.
Forum: General Talk 03-14-2013, 10:15 PM  
Design a T-Shirt: Win a DA 70mm Limited lens!
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 216
Views: 56,214
No harm in trying.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 01-05-2013, 10:32 PM  
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 1
Views: 468
I've had my K-r for a year now and I love it! Feels great in the hand, has a great feature set, didn't break the bank--and nobody I've met has ever seen one before. Shame that people automatically look to Canon or Nikon when they buy their first camera. Ah well.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 01-05-2013, 10:27 PM  
Poll: Expired Contest Poll VOTE NOW - Photo Contest #76 Poll (Snow- December, 2012)
Posted By sgirvin
Replies: 35
Views: 11,103
Some of these pictures took real dedication to grab. So hard to choose!
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